Billy Leroy Bray was born in Anthony, KS on February 5, 1941, to Dorothy Louise Miller Bray and Jesse Lee Bray, and went to be with his heavenly father on January 12, 2021, at the age of 79. He was the third of four children, and was raised in Wakita, OK. His family had lived in Wakita for generations; two of his great grandfathers participated in the Cherokee Strip land run of 1893. He graduated high school in 1959, and attended barber college in OKC, and NOC in Tonkawa. Bill met his sweetheart Patsy Homan in Fairfax, OK in February of 1962, and they were married on May 19 of that same year. They raised two daughters, Becky and Robin.
Bill began his career as a barber (you might remember the Capitol Barber Shop or his Tonsorial Parlor in Ponca City), and he never fully hung up his clippers. He continued cutting hair for friends and family all his life. He always had his barber case handy for anyone that needed a trim, especially when the family gathered in Wakita. His true passion, however, was preaching God’s word. He accepted Christ as his savior in 1969 and never looked back. He and Patsy were very active in the Jesus Movement of the 1970’s and led many young people to Christ in their living room.
He graduated from Rhema Bible College in 1980, and became pastor of the Christian Training Center, which he started with his friends Kerns Allen, Jim Baldwin, and Bob Innis. This started a lifelong tradition of equipping and supporting missionaries all over the world. Bill and Patsy spent their 58 years together pastoring 5 churches, teaching in Bible colleges, establishing Christian Schools, and following God anywhere that he called them. In 2004 they moved back to Ponca City and began attending Life Center Church, where they are actively involved.
Bill always felt his greatest accomplishment was raising his two beautiful daughters and being involved in the lives of his five grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Bill was well known for his love of people. He never met a stranger, and could always be found in the middle of the action. He was Papa to his grandchildren, and a father figure to many. His wisdom, kindness, and endless teasing will be missed by everyone that knew him.
He is survived by his wife Patsy, daughters Rebecca (Bill) Hatton, Robin (Robert) Ford, sister Lois Labyer, brothers Robert (Betty) Bray, Charles (Sharon) Bray, grandchildren, Mindy Worley, Jessica Davis, Aaron (Tehia) Worley, Sarah (Jordan) Pastorik, and Jason Davis, great grandchildren, Cash Coffman, Kaden Davis, Gavrielle, Eleanora, Abbott, and Eliason Worley. Also many nieces and nephews whom he loved.
Waiting for him in heaven were his parents Louise and Jesse Bray, grandparents Alva and Kate Miller, brother in law Harold Labyer, and in laws Thurston and Ann Homan.
Services will be held on Saturday, February 6th at Life Center Church in Ponca City at 2 pm. Masks will be mandatory, and we ask that you socially distance. If you would prefer to join via livestream, you can gain access through the memorial website. Online condolences may be made at www.myfarewelling.com/memorial/bill-bray and memorial contributions may be made to Living Hope Pregnancy Center (425 Fairview Avenue, Suite 3, Ponca City, OK 74601 Remembrances may be shared online at www.stittsworthfuneralservices.com
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